Less than $1 billion of US high-yield bonds were sold in August, one of the lowest monthly totals ever, as rising defaults and widening spreads above US treasury securities steered investors away from the market. Caribbean Restaurants, the exclusive franchisee of Burger King in Puerto Rico, sold $149 million of notes on August 13 with a 14.25% coupon and a spread of 1,197 basis points over benchmark rates. Jefferies and Credit Suisse managed the sale, which took place in the Rule 144A private placement market. The widening spreads reflected concerns over more write-downs from financial companies because of mortgage-related losses.
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